2012 Bordeaux – Grand Puy Lacoste, Pavie Macquin, Branaire Ducru, d’Issan, Haut Batailley, Gloria, de Fieuzal

by Charles Lea

This morning’s big releases are Grand Puy Lacoste and Pavie Macquin.

I did not taste Pavie Macquin this year, but the critics who did seem united  – Robert Parker 92-95, Neal Martin 94-96, and so on. It seems to have united both American and European critics, and as a regular favourite of ours amongst the Saint Emilions, this comes recommended.

Francois-Xavier Borie has released Haut Batailley and Grand Puy Lacoste, both of them super-attractive wines. The fact that it is evident that Grand Puy Lacoste is being discounted all the way down the chain shows once again that the market thinks that they have got the price wrong, which is a shame, for despite a rather miserable mark from Mr Parker, most other critics, including us, thought this was a humdinger, and frankly it really does offer great value to the drinker. Haut Batailley is a good-value silky-supple wine which will provide great pleasure from a young age.

Team GPL and Haut Batailley - François-Xavier Borie with technical director Christel Spinner and his daughter.

Team GPL and Haut Batailley – François-Xavier Borie with technical director Christel Spinner and his daughter.

We liked Branaire-Ducru (which was released yesterday afternoon) this year, a pretty, elegant, lifted style which plays on the elegance of St Julien rather than the muscle. This has very much been the aim here in recent years, and this feels like it will drink well from quite an early age. 2018-2030.

Jean-Dominique Videau at Branaire Ducru

Jean-Dominique Videau at Branaire Ducru

It’s neighbour, Chateau Gloria, was released this morning. As several of the critics point out this Saint Julien Cru Bourgeois has been consistently making wine of cru classé standard for several years.

Beychevelle is also out – everything I said about this last year is still true. It’s a lot to pay for a label. Draw a picture of a boat yourself and buy anything else to drink. If you want to take a punt on some loopy Oriental wanting to pay double when it’s deliverable, we are only too happy to sell it to you.

Coming up late on the rails is d’Issan, another wine the market appears not to like as the price is being savaged, again a shame that pricing cannot be more realistic, as the wine is good.

Finally Grand Mayne is a Saint Emilion which really does offer solid value.